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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I got a very large rimless aquarium 10ft long by 3ft wide and a top to bottom depth of 18inches. I custom ordered the dream tank from customaquariums.com because they seem to have a great reputation. I finally got around to finishing the plumbing etc and filled the tank to max capacity.
I noticed the long glass panels on the aquarium had bowed. Where the tank had been 36inches front to back, now the width has gone to 36 & 3/4 inches at the center point (5ft from either side).
The salesperson at customaquariums consulted their tank builder/engineer and they said that isn’t surprising considering the length of the panel.
So my question is…should I be concerned? I mean this was a huge investment for my dream tank and now all I can do is think of disaster.
Does anyone have experience with this?

dimensions:
10ft long
3ft wide
18inch top to bottom
1/2inch glass
Bowing total is 3/4 inches
There is a frame on the bottom of the tank and the caulk they use is supposed to be very strong.

thank you
 

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I don't have experience with a tank of that size... But you will see a significant bow in almost any long tank. (maybe one of the reasons they're not that common)

I doubt that it's going to break, but all materials have some flex. And at a length to width ratio of 3:1+, I would expect it with non-reinforced glass. If you want to think like an engineer, find out what the modulus of rupture is for that particular grade of glass, and calculate the breaking strength. Or, just ask them for a data sheet. Whatever you decide to do, trust the data - even if your intuition wants you to believe otherwise.

Personally, I would have gone with a Euro brace. I just don't like bend-y glass, when I'm trying to fit things like lids. (which isn't your situation, but just relating my own experience)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't have experience with a tank of that size... But you will see a significant bow in almost any long tank. (maybe one of the reasons they're not that common)

I doubt that it's going to break, but all materials have some flex. And at a length to width ratio of 3:1+, I would expect it with non-reinforced glass. If you want to think like an engineer, find out what the modulus of rupture is for that particular grade of glass, and calculate the breaking strength. Or, just ask them for a data sheet. Whatever you decide to do, trust the data - even if your intuition wants you to believe otherwise.

Personally, I would have gone with a Euro brace. I just don't like bend-y glass, when I'm trying to fit things like lids. (which isn't your situation, but just relating my own experience)
Thank you for the vote of confidence! Very thorough! They say they engineered the tanks to avoid using euro-brace. Something to think about

Sorry, did not finish reading your post. How thick is the glass? Is it tempered?
The glass is 1/2 inch thick. It is not tempered.
 

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I'm not surprised either, even a 4-ft long tank will have a slight bend in it. I've never seen a tanks glass break without trauma to the glass. When they break, it is always at a seam. So that is where you will want to pay attention. If you start to see bubbles form in the silicone, you know that the time has come to replace it / reseal it.

This however sounds like a truly amazing tank, are you going to do a journal?
 

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idk, I personally wouldn't trust this. That is an incredible investment, and will be a lot of damage if it does break. I would be looking into reinforcing it with some Euro bracing if I were you. Maybe the tank engineers aren't lying, and it won't rupture on its own, but what happens if something hard lightly bumps it? Glass is finicky... it could be something as small as someone walking by with a ring on their finger and tapping it at the wrong place. This just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen...
 

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The glass is 1/2 inch thick. It is not tempered.
That doesn't seem very thick for a rimless aquarium of those dimensions... I have a 5' rimless and the glass is 3/5".
 

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That doesn't seem very thick for a rimless aquarium of those dimensions... I have a 5' rimless and the glass is 3/5".
Height is the most important thing when considering tank integrity. This one is only 18" high. Safety factor is 8 using the specs given by the OP.
 

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Height is the most important thing when considering tank integrity. This one is only 18" high. Safety factor is 8 using the specs given by the OP.
Okay, definitely above my paygrade... my aquarium is about 4" taller than that.
 

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idk, I personally wouldn't trust this.
If you don't trust an established company to provide you with a technical answer, based on the physical properties testing of a known material, what will you trust? Do you trust all weather tires to keep you from skidding in the rain? Why, or why not?

Everything in life, at some point, becomes a leap of faith. Aquariums aren't a new thing. This (bowing) isn't unheard of. All materials bend, at some given condition.

Maybe the tank engineers aren't lying, and it won't rupture on its own, but what happens if something hard lightly bumps it? Glass is finicky...
Glass is absolutely NOT finicky. It has very well understood properties. The grades of glass that are selected for use in aquariums, are selected because they are the right material for the job. Again, you either believe that, or you don't. (which is why I told the OP not to believe an uninformed intuition)

Glass of any grade requires you to overcome specific physical limits, in order to achieve failure. Believe it or not, this is tested in laboratories. The data is captured, and it's used to market the material, by attribute, and application.

All glass requires 1 of 2 mechanical inputs to cause failure:

1) penetration of the surface by an object that is harder than the glass, itself
2) brute force (which in this case, is the concept of volumetric pressure exceeding max working pressure on a given surface area)

I am not including thermal or chemical failures, because that's really far out of scope. But the point is, if you're afraid of either of those things, you shouldn't have ANY fish tank. Full stop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm not surprised either, even a 4-ft long tank will have a slight bend in it. I've never seen a tanks glass break without trauma to the glass. When they break, it is always at a seam. So that is where you will want to pay attention. If you start to see bubbles form in the silicone, you know that the time has come to replace it / reseal it.

This however sounds like a truly amazing tank, are you going to do a journal?
Yes I am on Instagram as @onetanktwotank and on YouTube as well with the same name. Hope you follow along!
 

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Another way to look at it is if they do offer a warranty, any mods you make may void it in the event of a failure down the road. If you really aren’t comfortable with it see if they would add a brace of their design at your expense. Or just keep your insurance current.
 

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If you don't trust an established company to provide you with a technical answer, based on the physical properties testing of a known material, what will you trust? Do you trust all weather tires to keep you from skidding in the rain? Why, or why not?
No, I don't trust all weather tires to stop me from skidding in the rain. I drive slower and leave a larger gap than I normally would because I would rather be safe than sorry.

If you don't trust an established company to provide you with a technical answer, based on the physical properties testing of a known material, what will you trust? Do you trust all weather tires to keep you from skidding in the rain? Why, or why not?

Everything in life, at some point, becomes a leap of faith. Aquariums aren't a new thing. This (bowing) isn't unheard of. All materials bend, at some given condition.

..............................

Glass is absolutely NOT finicky. It has very well understood properties. The grades of glass that are selected for use in aquariums, are selected because they are the right material for the job. Again, you either believe that, or you don't. (which is why I told the OP not to believe an uninformed intuition)
I've also had a glass top table literally explode because my kid dropped a matchbox car on it. I understand your point; all I'm saying is that 330 gallons of water landing in your home is a life changing event, and (I can only assume) there will be a lot of livestock involved as well. Building the hardscape, planting, cycling, and maintaining an aquarium of this size is going to be a herculean feat, and I personally wouldn't just trust the engineers. I would drive slower and leave more room between myself and the other cars, by adding Euro bracing. If you're comfortable with it, then by al means, you're free to do as you please.
 

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No, I don't trust all weather tires to stop me from skidding in the rain. I drive slower and leave a larger gap than I normally would because I would rather be safe than sorry.
The point was more to the effect of, do you believe that your car is going to just spontaneously fly off the road when the first appearance of moisture appears on the road. (those tires were also designed for certain conditions, and to be used in a certain way - which does not exclude safe driving) But let's not get hung up on a point. The real point is here:

If you're comfortable with it, then by al means, you're free to do as you please.
There are millions of variables that the average person doesn't understand about the products that they use every day. Some with life altering consequences, if selected or used improperly.

Sorry about your table. But that was improperly tempered glass. No matter how properly you use an incorrectly manufactured product, the rules can never apply. In every other case, we have to assume that product is made the right way, and the standard recommendations apply.
 

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So I got a very large rimless aquarium 10ft long by 3ft wide and a top to bottom depth of 18inches. I custom ordered the dream tank from customaquariums.com because they seem to have a great reputation. I finally got around to finishing the plumbing etc and filled the tank to max capacity.
I noticed the long glass panels on the aquarium had bowed. Where the tank had been 36inches front to back, now the width has gone to 36 & 3/4 inches at the center point (5ft from either side).
The salesperson at customaquariums consulted their tank builder/engineer and they said that isn’t surprising considering the length of the panel.
So my question is…should I be concerned? I mean this was a huge investment for my dream tank and now all I can do is think of disaster.
Does anyone have experience with this?

dimensions:
10ft long
3ft wide
18inch top to bottom
1/2inch glass
Bowing total is 3/4 inches
There is a frame on the bottom of the tank and the caulk they use is supposed to be very strong.

thank you
Hi,

I have a 300 from same vendor. 8’ long, 5/8” un-tempered glass, bows about 1/2” at center. It’s been up for 18 months. Great tank. All materials bow under stress. Some more than others obviously. CustomAquariums wouldn’t have allowed you to configure the tank if they thought it wasn’t ok. Bob Pontow and the team there are terrific. I should not that there is a horizontal window screen over the top (1/4" nylon mesh) to keep fish from flying out...non-structural obviously but in case it looks like some frame material, it isn't. The Black Silicon CA uses is VERY strong industrial grade and very well applied. All the edges are "broken" or tapered for better joints and nothing sharp.
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Wow. No frame on the vertical edges?

EDIT. Yeah no way there would be.

My main concern would be seam failure. I suggest you contact them and ask for a copy of their products liability coverage declaration page. Then you should ask them to add you as an additional insured.
 
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